Airlines hike ticket prices in wake of European emissions scheme

January 5th, 2012 Written by

Following the introduction of strict rules on aircraft carbon emissions within the European Union, two of the world’s largest airlines have announced that they will be increasing fares. The regulations apply to all planes landing or taking off from European airports, and mean airlines will now have to purchase certificates to compensate for the greenhouse gasses they produce.

America’s Delta Air Lines said that passengers who wish to fly to Europe will now have to pay an extra $6 on a round trip. Lufthansa has said that it too intends to hand on the cost of the emissions charges to passengers, but has not yet announced how much ticket prices will rise by.

The German carrier predicted that it would have to purchase 35 per cent of the certificates that it needs. The estimation is based on recent growth and past emissions, and will cost Lufthansa in the region of 130 million euros over the course of this year. Lufthansa is the second largest European carrier in terms of passenger traffic behind Air France-KLM. It is the world’s fifth largest.

Delta Air Lines is the second largest carrier in the world behind United. At the end of last year a group of Canadian and US airlines petitioned Europe’s highest court over the new emission rules claiming that they were contrary to international law. They were not successful.

A number of countries including India and China have said that if the rules continue to affect their airlines there could be retaliation in the form of similar charges being applied to European carriers entering their airspace.